Republicans in the American State of Iowa passed a bill permitting abortions before a heartbeat is detected. The heartbeat date is about fetal age six weeks.
The bill passed by the legislature and was signed by the Republican governor (Des Moines Register, 4 April 2018)
Originally, the Iowa bill did not allow exceptions for rape or incest, but it was amended to include those exceptions.
The Iowa law comes close to a ban because a heartbeat can be detected at close to six weeks but women may not know they are pregnant by six weeks.
Quote from Governor Reynolds/ Des Moines Register:
"I believe that all innocent life is precious and sacred,” Reynolds said from her formal office before signing a bill that will outlaw nearly all abortions in the state. “And as governor, I have pledged to do everything in my power to protect it. And that’s what I’m doing today.”
Republicans generally support abortion at lower ages than do Democrats. Earlier in 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill supporting abortion at age 20 weeks, which was supported by the President but the bill failed to pass the Senate (See February 2, 2018 post).
It is not clear what would happen at the Supreme Court because in 2016 the Court did not hear an appeal of a similar law passed in North Dakota or a 12-week law in Arkansas, which were blocked by lower courts.
You can read details of the bill at the Iowa Legislature site.
Abortion in the U.S.
At this point in 2018, based on evidence from bills passed, both Republicans and Democrats support abortion and neither party supports a ban on abortion.
Republicans push for the highest level of restrictions on abortion but stop short of a ban, although coming close to a ban.
Republican led abortion restrictions allow abortions in cases of incest or rape.
As legal abortion cut off dates get close to conception, laws come close to an abortion ban without explicitly stating a ban exists.
The viability of a fetus is a consideration for some. Medical advances
Psychological Science and Pregnancy Awareness
Some women do not know they are pregnant until late in their pregnancy even up to the point of labor. There are several reasons for the lack of awareness including irregular sex and periods as well as mental health conditions. A related term is Denied Pregnancy or Denial of Pregnancy (see more at WebMD). A summary (JRSM, 2011) of research reported denial of pregnancy status at a rate of 1 in 475 at 20 weeks in Germany. The article reported similar rates in other countries (e.g., 1 in 516 for U.S.). Most women were in their early to mid 20s. Though difficult to predict, the conditions poses serious adjustment risks in coping with pregnancy, birth, and care of the newborn. Abortion is obviously not an option in locations where the woman must make a decision before she is aware of her pregnancy.
Christians, ProLife, and Abortion
U.S. Christians remain divided over abortion. Most official organizational statements are prolife but some support a woman's right to abortion for reasons of her health and in cases of incest and other forms of rape.
36% of women were attending a church at least once a month when they had their first abortion (Lifeway, 2015).
Women are most likely to discuss their decision to end their pregnancy with a medical professional (48%) or the father of the baby (61%) rather than someone at their church (7%). (Lifeway p. 9).
Read more about Christianity and moral thinking about abortion in A House Divided. See pages 78-79, 88-102, and 123-146 for detailed discussion of the issues.
Facebook Page Geoff W. Sutton
Website: Geoff W. Sutton www.suttong.com
Barbara Bush (views on abortion and women's rights)